Oct 03, 2007

Spill Shuts Down Canning Company

A leak in a pipeline discharging water and waste from Van Buren’s Allen Canning Co. facility forced a temporary shutdown of production at the facility over the weekend, according to an Allen official.

James Phillips, vice president for corporate services for Allen, said plant operators were notified of the break Friday and immediately contacted the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and ceased production while the problem was repaired. Phillips said he believed production had resumed by Monday afternoon. He said the local plant is beginning to wind down its processing of green beans for the season.

Phillips said the line carries vegetable waste and water from the company’s plant to a permitted land discharge area south and east of Van Buren.

“This is not the first time this has happened,” Phillips said Monday afternoon, adding the company is currently in litigation with at least one Crawford County resident over the situation. He said the company is taking steps to correct the problem.

Monday afternoon an area along the Arkansas River levee near Arkansas 59 was blocked off while trucks spread sand over waste that had leaked from the pipe.

ADEQ representatives stood by as employees of Allen worked at the site.

Phillips said there was no leak of the waste into the river.

“We intend to do what is right,” Phillips said.

“We are sorry it occurred and we’re going to get it cleaned up and fix it.”